Server 2008 R2 - Windows Directory Missing

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Server 2008 R2 - Windows Directory Missing

Postposted on Sun Jan 19, 2014 3:37 am

Got a call today regarding a new customer who had a Server 2008 R2 server unable to boot into Windows. So of course I tried all of the usual repair options including startrep.exe, bootrec.exe, ect. Well looking a little deeper into the directory with diskpart I noticed the C:\Windows directory was completely missing.

While I wait for this drive to be backed up with Acronis, I was curious if anyone else has gotten themselves out of an interesting situation like this. Once the backup is complete, i'm going to try TestDisk to restore the folder.
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Re: Server 2008 R2 - Windows Directory Missing

Postposted on Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:39 am

Doesn't look like TestDisk is having much luck identifying the RAID as a whole. /sigh. Hate Dell PERC controllers.

Any bright ideas to recover this clearly damaged/missing windows directory would be appreciated. Wouldn't assume that contents of said folder are a standard thing that could simply be copied from one machine to the other.....?

Desperate not to have to reinstall from scratch. Open to all suggestions.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

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Re: Server 2008 R2 - Windows Directory Missing

Postposted on Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:45 am

Your big issue is the registry. Those are located in system32. So you are most likely looking at restore. Sorry :oops:
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Re: Server 2008 R2 - Windows Directory Missing

Postposted on Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:08 am

Seems like I was able to recover the Windows directory, same issue at start up. Boots up into Windows environment for a moment, shows a cursor (that is moveable) and then screen goes black and machine restarts back to pre POST.

So I'm curious what repair steps now, trying not to loose any data of course. MFT Repair seems to make sense as the boot sector seems like its intact or I shouldn't have been able to boot into a partial windows environment at all. When looking at the partition with TestDisk though, I'm given warning.

Code: Select all
Disk 81 - 499 GB / 465 GiB - CHS 229248 224 19
       Partition                           Start              End    Size in sectors
2 P HPFS - NTFS                             48 134 15 39468 168   8  167772160

Boot Sector
Warning: number of heads/cylinder mismatches 255 (NTFS) != 224 (HD)
Warning: number of sectors per track mismatches 63 (NTFS) != 19 (HD)
Status: OK

Backup Boot sector
Warning: number of heads/cylinder mismatches 255 (NTFS) != 224 (HD)
Warning: number of sectors per track mismatches 63 (NTFS) != 19 (HD)
Status: OK

Sectors are identical


I'm getting the feeling that either these warnings mean nothing (don't recall them from previous TestDisk use though) or that its only reading a single drive in the RAID from the Dell PERC S100 controller. Im not familiar with "re-writing" boot sectors on a volume that spans across multiple drives in a RAID. Is there anything special to this? If somehow TestDisk is recognizing this volume as 2 separate drives, could irreparable damage be done if re-writing a boot sector or MFT repair?
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

i5-2500K|Asus P67 Sabertooth|16GB Corsair 1600|MSI 7850 2GB|250gb Evo 840|Corsair 400R|ET750w PSU|Logitech G5|Dell 2420L|Corsair Vengeance 1300
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Re: Server 2008 R2 - Windows Directory Missing

Postposted on Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:53 am

STOP..... Hammer Time (Not quite yet)...

After restoring the Windows directory with TestDisk I now was able to start-up into the windows environment disabling an automatic restart due to errors. Got a BSOD related to Directory Services. So I started in Directory Services Safe Mode and got a user login prompt! (That's some serious progress). Logging in now to see what the deal is :| Wish me luck.


UPDATE: New thread for new issue.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=92174
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

i5-2500K|Asus P67 Sabertooth|16GB Corsair 1600|MSI 7850 2GB|250gb Evo 840|Corsair 400R|ET750w PSU|Logitech G5|Dell 2420L|Corsair Vengeance 1300
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